Save Lives in Haiti Now
In the wake of the Haitian earthquake, advocacy groups put aside politics to call for support of victims and relief efforts. For a couple of days, groups from the left, right, and middle had a common mission: to help the suffering in Haiti.
Dr. Hubert Morquette, country director for World Relief—one of the many relief organizations that have sent disaster teams—said the situation in Port-au-Prince was "devastating and grave." World Relief is the service arm of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). "For the longsuffering people of Haiti, a legacy of injustice and extreme poverty has multiplied the impact of natural disaster. Unknown numbers even now stand at death's door," the NAE said in a statement.
Other political groups used their websites and communications networks to promote relief efforts.
The American Family Association website features a new call to action: "Save Lives in Haiti Now." The AFA urged people to support World Vision's Haiti relief effort, making support their top action alert.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, used his Washington Update to point readers to the Salvation Army, Samaritan's Purse, and World Vision, asking readers to pray for people hurt by the disaster.
Sojourners used its Facebook page as a way for readers to post links and to offer ways to help Haiti. Readers listed links to many organizations, including denominational humanitarian organizations like Covenant World Relief, Catholic Relief Services, and ministries already in Haiti, such as New Life for Haiti and Compassion International.
Faith in Public Life linked to a Washington Post list of agencies, including many Christian organizations.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) partnered with three organizations: The Hands and Feet Project, Conduit Mission, and Operation Blessing. Supporters of the ACLJ could use text messaging to donate $10 to the ACLJ, which would then send it to the organizations. Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the ACLJ, focused on Haiti in his daily broadcast of Jay Sekulow Live.
Operation Blessing is affiliated with Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). Pat Robertson also asked for support for this ministry during the Wednesday and Thursday 700 Club broadcasts.
Outrage over Robertson's Remarks
Despite the widespread support for Haiti from Christian political action groups, the headlines on Christian responses to the disaster focused on Pat Robertson. On Wednesday's 700 Club broadcast, he claimed the problems in Haiti were the result of a centuries old "pact with the devil."
"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. Napoleon the Third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you get us free from the prince.' True story. And so the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.' They kicked the French out, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor," said Robertson.
Robertson also said that he believed that this earthquake could be a "blessing in disguise."
Chris Roslan, a spokesman for Pat Robertson and CBN, released a statement later that day stating that many believe that Haiti is cursed but "Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God's wrath." Roslan said that the full video segment shows that Robertson has compassion for the people of Haiti and is sending humanitarian aid. Condemnation of Robertson's comments Haiti was swift.